Talk:Electronic color code

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Adopted orphan redirects for searching: Electronic colour code


Big Boys Race Our Young Girls But Violet Generally Wins Gold Silver is currently taught in technical schools. Sponsion (talk) 00:38, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

Is blind beggars roast our young goats, but vegans go without actually in common use? I have never come across it whilst I have frequently come across the black bastards rape our young girls but virgins go without mnemonic. Or is this a location / era thing? SGBailey 23:56 Dec 14, 2002 (UTC)

The one I always remember (learned from my uncle, never say it out loud) is "Black boys rape our young girls but Violet gives willingly." 9/24/2005
It's a bit tongue-in-cheek. If there's a desire to document the mnemonic as a historical artifact, that can be done. It was presented in the article as a suggested means of remembering the color coding, in which case any mnemonic would do. --Len.
If it is in current use, then state the fact, "electricians have used the following mnemonic, blah blah blah, since before the 1960s, etc., etc.." That would be appropriate. It would be inappropriate to say, "Here's a good way to remember the color codes." The former is a statement of fact; the latter is an inappropriate suggestion for an encyclopedia to make. (And yes, I made it up. I bet the Wiki community can come up with a mnemonic which is 50 times more memorable, and also very funny, and also something I can teach my son as he studies for his amateur radio license. Think 'bald burglars'! Think 'bold builders'! Think 'big bladders'! Think 'brawny butchers'! Use a little imagination.) --Len

[Note: I have no intention of starting an edit war here; if you want it in there I will not keep taking it out, though I will probably make it into a statement of fact instead of a recommendation. But the advice given above is good--think about it. --Len.]

It is in current use, but is perhaps too non-PC for something that minor. The easy way is to delete that paragraph entirely. I definitely do not want a "wiki made up" mnemonic. SGBailey 23:17 Dec 15, 2002 (UTC)

I'm Mr. Non-PC, but there's a difference between non-PC and bigoted. The fact that the mnemonic exists is fine; the suggestion that people go use it goes over the line. But out of curiosity, why does the origin of your mnemonics make a huge difference? Do you feel uncomfortable using memory aids which haven't been "blessed" in some way? What difference does it make? --Len.

This is an encyclopaedia, not a work of fiction. The mnemonic I listed is one in active use. I am not trying to suggest anyone should use it or any other mnemonic, it was just a report of how things are. As I said, it is easier to omit it. SGBailey 09:27 Dec 16, 2002 (UTC) seem to be missing the point, but I can't see much use in laboring it further. You can put the original in if you say, "Most American EEs are taught the color code using the following mnemonic..." since that would be a statement of fact. You won't get far putting it in there as a suggestion: "Hey folks, if you want to remember the color codes, try this!" However, putting a new suggestion into the article doesn't make it a work of fiction; though it would be "fiction" if somebody wrote, "Everyone uses this mnemonic...." You seem not to grasp the distinction I'm making here, though I don't think it's a deep and subtle one. Can you help clarify what you don't get here? --Len.

Put differently, if I write a new text on electronics and offer a new acronym, would that make my new book "fiction"? --Len.

The mnemonic in question is not there to be read anymore but I have no trouble guessing which one it was. (Bad boys rape our young girls but Violet gives willingly.) Anyway, I would like to remark that it may not be PC but actually IS a good mnemonic. People tend to remember it rather well. This is probably significant in some way or another but that is beside the point. The point is a popular (and well working) mnemonic exists. I'd say, mention it as it is and perhaps if you feel people would be offended offer a PC alternative.

I see what's been going on...No wonder the second paragraph reads so weird 00:53, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

This is certainly not the first or last time that offensive, but historically correct material is continually deleted. I will add a note to the entry pointing to this discussion. I was taught the sequence as "Bad Boys Rape..." sequence in high school (Berkeley, 1969) by an instructor who said he had been taught a more offensive version as official curriculum in a Navy electronics tech class in the late 1950's. So far there has been no discussion of the tolerance sequence, which alternately goes "...for Gold or Silver" or "Get Some Now" for 5% and 10% or 5%, 10% and 20% (none). 17:06, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Ok. Here's how it works:

This means that if someone removes a notable mnemonic because they find it offensive, revert them.

At the same time, however:

This means that if someone adds a mnemonic that they made up, offensive or not, that's not already popular or notable, revert them. — Omegatron 03:22, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

the version I learned[edit]

The version I learned in 10th grade high school electronics class 34 years ago was "Bad Boys Ruin Our Young Girls But Violet Gives (or Goes) Willingly", which is slightly more PC but still has much of the flavor of the version you mention. It was also very popular among radio hams at the time, at least on the east coast of the USA, so I would mention it here simply because it was common.

IMHO, political correctness has no place in Wikipedia (except perhaps as the title of an NPOV article on that subject, if that's possible.) We're supposed to be descriptive, not proscriptive. If something is or was commonly used, that fact alone should be enough to merit a mention. User:Karn 24 May 2005

I'm pretty sure that the mnemonic is "Bad Boys Rape Our Young Girls But Violet Gives Willingly." Its not very PC, but my high school physics teacher (who was a woman) told it to us after class. Furthermore, I never forgot the codes after that. At least its not racist like the "black bastards" one is. However, the "black bastards" mnemonic doesn't let you forget the order of Black and Brown.

A good way to remember the order is perhaps "bAd" goes with "blAck", "bOys" goes with "brOwn" and "blUe" goes with "bUt", when using 'Bad boys rape our young girls, but Violet ..' Funktional (talk) 14:31, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

The mnemonic that I learned is "Bad Boys Rape Our Young Girls, Beautiful Virgins Getting Worried". The internal logic of this sensational pronouncement is credible and the change in syllabic rhythm after the comma raises it to the heady realms of poetry. Cuddlyable3 09:08, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

This Wiki article more closely resembles a classic forum post argument than anything I have come to respect and appreciate Wikipedia for so far. But while I'm here... to confound and compound the problem, how about... 'Bobby Brown runs on yellow grass but Violet Grey walks'. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:12, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

New Jersey?[edit]

Any specific reason why the "Bad Boys Rapes..." is attributed to New Jersey? I am sure the phrase was more widespread during the 70s (as this was the mnemonic taught at Michigan Tech). Sidar 06:02, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

I was wondering about that... will add a citation signal. 22:02, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
I have two problems with this. One, it wasn't just used in New Jersey. Two, it uses a matter of opinion ("tasteless" - is it really the point of this article to give moral guidance?). I don't know much about Wikipedia or how to call for a change in that section without just doing it myself, but if anyone else comes across this article, feel free to make this note. Amada 10:16, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
Don't know exactly how to change the New Jersey part. I think the preceding sentence needs to be slightly modified as well considering it makes a claim that is not exactly backed up in the article on mnemonics(the one in the mnemonics article isn't so broad.) It seems to me that most teachers at least mention the racy ones. I am going to change tasteless to explicit though, dunno how good a change that is. 18:59, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
"Explicit" is a good quality, and is especially desirable in an encyclopedia. Substituting the word as a euphemism for "offensive" or "tasteless" is just silly.Cuddlyable3 09:02, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

What I learned...[edit]

In the US Navy's avionics school, I learned "Bad Boys Rape Our Young Girls But Violet Gives Willingly".

It should be noted that the above mnemonic is published in "Literature and Domination: Sex, Knowledge, and Power in Modern Fiction" By Booker, M. Keith, which is making a historical reference to the US Navy's usage of the "offensive" mnemonic. Therefore the mnemonic is notable and should be included in the article as a historical fact. The link below is Google's scan of the referenced text.


Some of the examples given are impure "semi-" mnemonics because they quote colour(s) literally. Thus the chastity of a female named Violet is often impugned, as is the controversial Black. Cuddlyable3 07:46, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Cleaned up[edit]

I took the suggestion of the cleanup tag and the note to editors comment, and cleaned up the Mnemonics section. All mnemonics that remain are sourced to books (well, maybe one is just to a web page). Let's not mess this up. Feel free to add other iff you have a reliable source; what you remember being taught is not relevant. Dicklyon (talk) 19:08, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Bad Boys Rape Our Young Girls But Violet Gives Willingly[edit]


And our collective memories are not to be totally discounted. This sort of thing was often not written down and is part of our cultural heritage (for better or worse). Remember, it is beer swilling Engineers that used them.

I learned this from my 10th grade electronics class teacher in 1969. It's not just some imagined phrase... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:35, 10 March 2020 (UTC)

This section is unwieldy[edit]

There is simply no reason to have all these mnemonics listed in this article. Yes, I realize they are all sourced. But certainly some are referenced more than others or in more prominent sources, and we should limit the article to them. I'm not sure what it is about this section, but the desire to add every sourced mnemonic under the sun really distracts from the article. jheiv talk contribs 03:44, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Section moved[edit]

There was no discussion about how to tidy up this section so I split it off onto its own page, List of electronic color code mnemonics. The Electronic color code's page was mostly the mnemonic section which was ridiculous. I'm sure there will soon be an AfD on the list page, so if you're interested in seeing these survive, please add it to your watchlist and participate in the AfD discussion. jheiv talk contribs 18:45, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

Congruence with Wikipedia?[edit]

Is it not central idea of wikipedia to be a progressive source for information? If we continue to propagate negative connotations, I think that there are greater harms done in the name of preserving 'the way we used to do it'. I think that we don't need to be stringent in our 'PC' analysis of articles, but at the same time, there is no service done in maintaining these acronyms... imho.Jarekanderson 01:15, 09 September 2007 (EST)

Actually no. Wikipedia is progressive in terms of universal access and timeliness but its information is conservative and verifiable. Recording things that are notable does not make anyone guilty of "propagating negative connotations" which could mean anything. See WP:POV. BTW a mnemonic is not an acronym.Cuddlyable3 08:47, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

What I was taught?[edit]

The line about not including what one was taught is rather silly. I was taught a different way of doing DEVRY, by my INSTRUCTORS. It's not offensive in any way and yet I don't see it listed. It's not something I can link to a book source, sorry. However I can tell you that hundreds of people who have attended Devry of Phoenix will be able to recite it back to you.

Black Berries Ripen On Yonder Gates But Violets Grow Wild —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:45, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

1) I learned "Bad Boys Rape Our Young Girls But Violet Gives Willingly" In 1971 high school electronics class, from Mr. Anderson Elk Grove HS Illinois.

2) Why use scientific notation in the color code multiplier? 10 to the zero power is just stoopid! Please keep it simple!

Ah, some of us know it as "Bad Boys Rape Our Young Girls Behind Victory Garden Walls" and even remember Victory Gardens.--DThomsen8 (talk) 15:24, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

...Willingly for Gold & Silver! Don't forget about the tolerance bands! Stacybsmith1975 (talk) 20:45, 18 August 2017 (UTC)

Better table[edit]

I didn't know this article existed, and I just made this table for Wikibooks:

Color 1st band 2nd band 3rd band Multiplier Tolerance
Black 0 0 0 ×100
Brown 1 1 1 ×101 ±1% (F)
Red 2 2 2 ×102 ±2% (G)
Orange 3 3 3 ×103
Yellow 4 4 4 ×104
Green 5 5 5 ×105 ±0.5% (D)
Blue 6 6 6 ×106 ±0.25% (C)
Violet 7 7 7 ×107 ±0.1% (B)
Gray 8 8 8 ±0.05%
White 9 9 9
Gold ×0.1 ±5% (J)
Silver ×0.01 ±10% (K)
None ±20% (M)

it is better in some ways, worse in others. the markup is very ugly and the colors are awful in firefox (i changed some it looks better now). streamline it if you can. and convert to pretty hex colors please. and the blank cells look ugly in internet explorer. i don't know why. Someone should merge the best qualities of each, make them better, and put them both in this article and on Wikibooks:Electronics:Component_Identification#4-band_Axial_Resistors. Please? - Omegatron 19:44, Jul 27, 2004 (UTC)

I fixed it. - Omegatron 16:30, Sep 9, 2004 (UTC)

The current table in the article links to "Template:Electronic colour code," and this contains an error in my opinion. When the color black is a significant, it should not be "-". it should be "0". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:57, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

letters in brackets in tollerance column[edit]

what exactly are they supposed to mean? Plugwash 03:12, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

wire / voltage color code[edit]

Is there a standard color code for wires based on there voltage? ie. red - 5 Vdc

   black - DC gnd

etc. If so where can I find it. Thanks

Red is typically power supply voltage and black is typically ground, but I don't think there's a standard for it. — Omegatron 15:58, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
In a two wire DC system (regardless of voltage) thats either floating or negative earth (postive earth systems are iirc rare outside the telco industry) its almost always RED=+V BLACK=ground. PCs use red=5V yellow=12V and various other colors (which do vary a bit between brands but i belive there is a normal set) for other voltages.
Various standards do exist, depending on the particular application. For example, the National Electrical Code (US) specifies colors for certain wires, such as green or bare for the grounding conductor and white or gray for the grounded (neutral) conductor. Other countries may use different colors. DC systems often use red and black, and that could be any voltage. Red and green is common for phone wiring in the US.
To answer the original question: Yes, there are standard color codes for wires based on voltage, use, or other criteria. No, there is not a standard color code. HeirloomGardener 19:27, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
For low voltage electrical wiring, most countries use today IEC 60446 colors. Markus Kuhn 00:01, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
This link tabulates colours of multi-wire cables that are offered as standard by one of many suppliers. A cable manufacturer has no control over what voltages equipment designers choose to put on their cables. There are national regulatory standards for wire colours in power cables, intended to prevent sale or installation of equipment with dangerous wiring faults e.g. that connect accessible metal parts to supply voltage instead of earth. Cuddlyable3 18:18, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Prefer right zeroes[edit]

I'm unaware of a citation, but it appears (IE this is deduction, original research, and doesn't belong on the main page), that it's preferred to write zeros on the right rather then the left when there is a choice -- that is, 100 is brown black brown, not black brown red. (This makes sense, as it gives two significant digits rather then one.)

If somebody could find a reference for this and add it to the body of the article, that'd be lovely. Theorbtwo 00:09, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Since the majority of resistors have values in the E12 series which are defined by two significant digits, it would be unreasonably eccentric to "abandon" a digit exclusively for the 10.. value- Cuddlyable3 14:54, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

white stripe?[edit]

i found inside a wireless phone a 5 band resistor thats blue violet black gold and white, wtf means the white stripe? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Minimegahyper (talkcontribs) 00:04, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Sentence pertinence[edit]

Are you sure this sentence meaningful in the abstract : In the days of classical chassis televisions, overheated resistors would change their color bands, making it virtually impossible to distinguish brown from red from orange. 11:42, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

References needed for:[edit]

  • Transistor wires (emitter, base, collector - green, yellow, blue?)
  • Klystron leads
  • Industrial control panels
  • Automotive wiring DIN and SAE standards
  • Vacuum tube wires (saw this some where..grid, plate, screen, cathode...)
  • ICEA for multiple power connectors (Anixter catalog table)
  • Thermocouples - thermocouple wires, extension wires

--Wtshymanski (talk) 15:20, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Some of these should be in the ARRL Handbook. --Tothwolf (talk) 20:07, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
And they were. Though my 1978 edition has the AWS/JAN codes, where the 1991 edition has dropped them (but added codes for dipped polyester capacitors). My Bosch book had noting on DIN color codes for car wiring, though. --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:29, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
I can pull some older editions if you think those may also help? --Tothwolf (talk) 16:47, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Really old editions (pre-WWII) might mention when the color code was developed - the article currently says "1920's" but it would be great to nail that down. The 1946 edition of "Reference data for radio engineers" says an RMA standard came out in 1938. Even the stuff on the postage-stamp 6-dot notation is pretty much a historical relic; the only time I've seen these capacitors is at a hamfest. --Wtshymanski (talk) 17:01, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't think I have access to any editions quite that old but I believe I still have an early 1970s and a 1950s edition. I actually have a large number of those postage-stamp capacitors and have thought about getting photos of the different styles since there were several forms of them. I should probably do the same for the really old styles of resistors too.
While I'm thinking of it, we also need to cover the 5-band resistor color code with 3 significant digits, multiplier, and tolerance bands which is commonly used for axial type 1% and 2% metal film resistors.
--Tothwolf (talk) 17:10, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Pictures of old capacitors would be good. If my drawing skills were better I'd duplicate one of the many illustrations I have of the 6-dot and 3-dot codes. I think the article does mention high-precision resistors. --
Does the 1978 ARRL handbook have the power transformer color codes? The 1973 and 1958 editions have them on the page following the postage-stamp capacitor information and include more information than is currently present in this article. They also have information on audio transformers but may not be much different from the 1978 edition. --Tothwolf (talk) 22:32, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Mnemonics again[edit]

From the cited links:

"Discussion of potentially objectionable content should not focus on its offensiveness but on whether it is appropriate to include in a given article."

The history of sexism and racism in electrical engineering absolutely has valid merit, but is tangentially related to resistors and resistor color codes. There is already an appropriate mnemonic that doesn't include sexual violence, and a link to many others in a section specifically on the history of the resistor mnemonics, which is ideally where it belongs. Hence, the phrase in question does not facilitate understanding of resistors when introducing historical context showing sexism in electrical engineering: the exact same subject matter on resisters can be learned the same way in the absence of this phrase.

On the plus side, inclusion of it facilitates deeper learning, but on the con side there are many other social, economic, and cultural aspects of the resistor that are cite-able, valid information and NOT included, as they would make the article far too large, for example: impact to local economies where resistors are made due to political trends, referring to fabrication disruptions in China during the late 1990's.

In fact, the entire mnemonic paragraph could be moved to the mnemonic page, as the main page is already quite lengthy and the mnemonics are actually more about electrical engineering studying techniques than they are about resistors. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:04, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

List of electronic color code mnemonics is a recent and in my opinion inappropriate WP:Content fork, created by someone who said he didn't like the material. That's not an appropriate reason. We don't censor by shunting off to a fork. We should fix it. The current mnemonic section is screwed up in my opinion, as it describes the mnemonic as "useful" and cites a random web page that doesn't even support that. We previously had a section with only mnemonics from WP:RSs; I think we need to go back to that. Dicklyon (talk) 04:02, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Newer table[edit]

This table, although it looks like other tables, it's unique because it introduces the three columns in the left specifying the type of unit (H, F, Ohm) and one more important thing: it displays graphicaly the "real" rank given by the 3rd ring to each type of unit (BK:unit's-BN:100's-1-RD:k's-10k's-YL:100k's-GN:1M's-BL:10M's-VI:100M's), one may be mislead when looking at the power of ten given by this 3rd ring.. for the 2nd ring parameter always multiplies by "10" on top of the other.

Obviously for less than 2% tolerance, with one more ring, there is another table

Ring color Significant figures Multiplier Tolerance Temperature coefficient
Name Code RAL Percent [%] Letter [ppm/K] Letter
None ±20 M
Pink PK 3015 ×10−3[2] ×0.001
Silver SR ×10−2 ×0.01 ±10 K
Gold GD ×10−1 ×0.1 ±5 J
Black BK 9005 0 ×100 ×1 250 U
Brown BN 8003 1 ×101 ×10 ±1 F 100 S
Red RD 3000 2 ×102 ×100 ±2 G 50 R
Orange OG 2003 3 ×103 ×1000 ±0.05[2] W 15 P
Yellow YE 1021 4 ×104 ×10000 ±0.02[2][nb 1][3] P 25 Q
Green GN 6018 5 ×105 ×100000 ±0.5 D 20 Z[nb 2]
Blue BU 5015 6 ×106 ×1000000 ±0.25 C 10 Z[nb 2]
Violet VT 4005 7 ×107 ×10000000 ±0.1 B 5 M
Grey GY 7000 8 ×108 ×100000000 ±0.01[2][nb 3][nb 1][3] L (A) 1 K
White WH 1013 9 ×109 ×1000000000

--Mcapdevila (talk) 14:20, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

I note that this table has made it into the article, but it seems to be wrong. The table claims (for example) that red means '1k's' for resistors - except it doesn't. It means 100's. For example a red-red-red resistor is 2.2kohm. Or put another way 22x100 ohms. It works for 4 band resistance identifiers as well. (talk) 13:11, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
I've removed the extra columns from the template. --Wtshymanski (talk) 13:29, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d "IEC 60062:2016-07" (6 ed.). July 2016. Archived from the original on 2018-07-23. Retrieved 2018-07-23. [1]
  3. ^ a b VR37 High ohmic/high voltage resistors (PDF). Vishay. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-09-10.

When did body-end-dot drop out of fashion?[edit]

The 'body-end-dot' or 'body-tip-spot' system was used for radial-lead composition resistors sometimes found in very old equipment; - we should quantify "very old" - we're not talking about my 2002 1.8 megapixel camera here. I've seen body-end-dot in tube gear but when did it decline in use? End of WWII or earlier? Or later? I don't recall seeing it in the 1960's tube-type TV sets I used to tear apart as a kid. This coding scheme was listed in my 1979 ARRL handbook but was gone in the 1991 edition - not sure when it was dropped from the handbook. --Wtshymanski (talk) 13:33, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

I would say they were no longer used in consumer equipment made after the 1930s. Certainly by that time they were in serious competion with the stripe code system, and looked decidedly ugly in comparison! BTW: why has my edit gone into some kind of time warp, where you see it in the editable text, but not on the actual page? (talk) 11:30, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

I'm thinking the system persisted a little longer than that; none of the stuff I was allowed to tear up as a kid was that old. Your edit is there - could you have an old version cached? --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:36, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
I'd say they were used into the 1940s at least, possibly into the early 1950s. I have a fair number of these components put away in my own parts cabinets which were obtained from individuals who worked on electronic equipment in the 40s and 50s. --Tothwolf (talk) 16:15, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
According to "Electronic Classics: Collecting, Restoring and Repair" page 114 (ISBN 0750637889), these were being phased out in favour of resistors with colour bands in the late 1930s, which might explain why they were still showing up in radios through the 1940s, due to existing stock and inventory. They were still showing up in hobbyist/homebrew equipment up through the 1960s. --Tothwolf (talk) 11:52, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

radio amateur's handbook reference[edit]

i've changed the radio amateur's handbook reference to an earlier version (50th from 55th), since this version has an isbn. the page number is the same. Alecjw (talk) 19:07, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Curious. The change almost makes it look like two editions, 5 edition numbers apart, appeared in the same year. I've restored it to the edition that was evidently used to support the statement; an ISBN is not necessary. --Wtshymanski (talk) 19:52, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Is the Examples section wrong?[edit]

there aren't as many resistors as examples, and the first resistor doesn't match up with any of the examples... Ws04 (talk) 15:10, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

I fixed it to agree with the figure. I was not aware that 1% resistors had an extra digit, but it looks like that's the case based on the figure description and another example in the article; it should say so more explicitly, I think, with a source. Dicklyon (talk) 06:42, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

example photo[edit]

In the photo showing 4 through hole "resistors", the first one (the green one) is an inductor. I'm not sure of the value because I've never seen a 5 band coded inductor. 560 uhenries +/- 2%? But there's no silver band to represent military grade.

But if its green/blue it should be an inductor. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:420:293:1262:4454:296B:98B5:3811 (talk) 02:04, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Who says inductors have to be coloured green or blue? I have lots of resistors that are blue. DieSwartzPunkt (talk) 14:41, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

"1k2" versus "1.2 k ohm"[edit]

An edit in 2006 introduced the use of 1k2 to mean 1.2 k ohm. I see numerous Google hits where people ask "What the hell is 4k7?". Clearly some writers or vendors are using 1k2 and 4k7, or readers would not be puzzled about it. In a check of electronics books published in the last 10 years and electronics magazines from this year I found schematics and parts lists only using "1.2 k ohm" terms. I tagged this article's use of the "1k2" as needing a citation. If someone has a textbook or industry standard explaining the 1k2 terminology, it should be added to the article, to satisfy verifiability. Whose neologism is it? When was it introduced? In what countries is it predominant? Is it SI nomenclature, and does any Wikipedia manual of style call for it? Claims of "I've seen it" are insufficient, as are arguments that "Periods are hard to see." I've never had a problem seeing periods in printed, handwritten or photocopied circuit diagrams or part lists. Edison (talk) 23:56, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Additionally, why should an article about "color codes" include out-of-scope treatments of other coding schemes? For numerical codes to be included, the article would have to be moved to a new and more general title. Edison (talk) 00:29, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
There was a new standard published in the late 1960's in the UK for the marking of resistors and other components and labeling the values on circuit diagrams. It got as far as being incorporated into the relevant British Standards. I do not know the standard for the component marking but the standard for circuit diagrams was BS3939. The idea was to replace the colour code with a printed marking which would match the value shown on circuit diagrams. The new marking used the letters 'R', 'K' and 'M' to represent the decimal point in the resistor value so, as noted above, "1K2" represented 1.2kΩ. Similarly, "5R6" represented 5.6Ω. The use of the decimal point was rejected because although it is easily read, that only applies if it gets reproduced when a drawing is copied (even on a modern copier, reproduce the drawing just a few times and the decimal point disappears). Although the technique became popular on circuit diagrams (often incorrectly using 'k' instead of 'K'), it only survived for a few years as a resistor marking, though it survived to the current day for marking capacitors - which have always used a hotch potch of marking schemes. Even today, some circuit diagrams still use the scheme. I do have several items that I constructed that incorporate resistors and capacitors so marked.
The original idea of the scheme was to solve the problem of colour blind people not being able to read the component values, but it never displaced colour codes, and died gracefully. However, the idea merits revisiting, because as more workshops are being equipped with fluorescent lighting (and in particular bench lights being fitted with compact fluorescent lamps with their notoriously poor colour rendering), it has become difficult for even normally sighted people to correctly read the colour codes. The so called 'incandescent white' (or 'warm white' in the US) phosphor renders both the brown and red as a brown colour, and the much bluer 'daylight' phosphor renders both the blue and green as a dark green.
However, the scheme has seen resurection with the introduction of surface mount chip resistors and capacitors. There are several schemes in use including just the numbers that the colours would have represented and the scheme outlined above. See Surface-mount_technology#Identification for more.DieSwartzPunkt (talk) 14:10, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
There are several similar codes based on the idea of replacing the decimal point by a code letter (R for resistors). Not all of these codes are "compatible" with each other.
The original code is defined in IEC 62 (IEC 60062 today) as well. It is officially called letter and digit code for resistance and capacitance values, but also known as "RKM code".
--Matthiaspaul (talk) 22:24, 19 December 2016 (UTC)


In my opinion the "green" in the color table:

  1. isn't green, but rather some kind of beige,
  2. doesn't look very much like the green on real resistors, which is something more like this or this.

Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 23:16, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

Which is correct?[edit]

Have been updating some of my tables to the latest standard, IEC 60062:2016. In the standard, and I might be reading this wrong, it has Tolerance for Orange as +/-0.05, Yellow as +/-0.02 and Grey as +/-0.01. So which is correct now? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:47, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

Thanks, the newly defined tolerances were missing. I have updated the table accordingly.
--Matthiaspaul (talk) 13:23, 23 July 2018 (UTC)


All electronic components are small - at least, any that have color coding on them. Certainly anything mounted by its wire leads is small. Mustn't waste the readers' time. --Wtshymanski (talk) 17:01, 15 March 2018 (UTC)

What year was the RMA resistor color code specification released?[edit]

What year was the RMA resistor color code specification released by the Radio Manufacturers Association (RMA)? We need an exact year instead of "1920s". Just a reminder that RMA created color codes for other types of parts too, so please don't get them mixed up with resistor colors. Thanks in advance! • SbmeirowTalk • 08:52, 16 November 2019 (UTC)

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